The Golden Week exodus began Saturday with airports and train stations packed with thousands of holidaymakers taking advantage of a 9-day break.
Narita Airport estimated the number of people heading overseas will rise 16.3% from 2011 to 597,800. Last year, fewer people traveled in the aftermath of the March 11 disaster.
On Saturday, the airport operator said 42,000 people are expected to depart, while the peak day for arrivals will be May 6, with 46,300 projected to fly in.
The most popular destinations this year are South Korea, Guam and Saipan, travel agents said.
Meanwhile, JR said shinkansens are fully booked for this weekend and from May 3-6.
Highway authorities expect traffic congestion to peak on May 3 (outbound from Tokyo) and on May 5 and May 6 (inbound).
However, a new 160-kilometer section of the Tomei Expressway that opened earlier this month is expected to ease traffic congestion between the Gotemba and Mikkabi junctions.© Japan Today